Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coquilles St. Jacques (Page 320)

RECIPE #1128

  • Date: Monday, March 15, 2010 -- 6pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by making fresh breadcrumbs from a baguette, then toasting them in the oven. I tossed the breadcrumbs with cheese and set them aside. I combined white wine, water, sliced onion, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and simmered for a few minutes. Then I added sea scallops cut into 3/4 inch pieces and simmered until the scallops were just cooked through. I removed the scallops and reduced the liquid, then strained it. I cooked sliced mushrooms in butter, then seasoned them. I cooked a roux of butter and flour, then whisked in the reduced cooking liquid. I simmered it, then whisked it into a mixture of heavy cream and egg yolk. I simmered the sauce briefly, then seasoned with salt and pepper. I stirred the mushrooms and scallops into the sauce. I was then supposed to divide the mixture among ramekins or scallop shells, but the house we are renting has no ramekins (or scallop shells!), so I just did one big dish rather than 8 small ones. I topped the scallop mixture with the breadcrumbs, then dotted it with butter. I broiled until the breadcrumbs were golden. I was supposed to sprinkle the finished product with parsley, but I forgot (whoops!). This dish was very tasty! It was incredibly rich, but what else would you expect from a French classic? The sauce was creamy with a great depth of flavor to it. Typically I don't like seafood in heavy cream-based sauces, but in this case the scallops were beautifully complemented by the cream sauce and mushrooms. The cheesy breadcrumbs added a lovely textural contrast to the dish (plus, cheesy breadcrumbs are always delicious!). This dish was a winner!

The recipe is here.

I have a new master plan. After three months of traveling around, not teaching, and having essentially no obligations and no schedule, I have finally caved and added some structure to my day-to-day life. I made a daily schedule, which includes work, exercise, cooking, etc... I was hesitant to do it, as I was, in theory, enjoying the freedom of complete flexibility. But I realized today that actually the lack of structure was making me really unhappy. I haven't been particularly unproductive these last few months, but without any daily structure I somehow always feel like I never accomplish anything. I am hoping that the new daily schedule will keep me focused and help me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. We shall see. The schedule is in effect starting tomorrow: 8am!


Adam said...

I loved this recipe. It was one of my first for the Project, and here it is one of your last. You're in the home stretch. Good luck!

Teena said...

Thanks Adam! I liked this recipe a lot too. I can't believe I am almost done with The Book!